Air Plains Services salutes the Cessna 172 – 65 years and still going

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Air Plains Services, a world leader in general aviation engine and avionics upgrades, salutes the iconic Cessna 172 Skyhawk, celebrating 65 years since its first flight, and still going strong.

“We are very happy to pay tribute to the storied history of the incredible Cessna 172, marking 65 years since its first flight in June 1955,” said Mike Kelley, founder and owner of Air Plains Services. “I am proud to say we’ve been supporting this airplane for more than 40 of those years from our shop in Wellington, so we speak with some authority about its longevity, its performance and durability, and its role as the most popular airplane model out there.”  According to Textron Aviation, Cessna has produced more than 45,000 aircraft under the 172 umbrella – the most produced aircraft model in aviation history. Air Plains has provided 180hp engine upgrades to more than 2,500 of those aircraft, with more engine upgrades being installed or shipped worldwide regularly.  

Air Plains also manufactures a variety of PMA parts for the Skyhawk including baffle kits, airboxes and airbox brackets and gaskets, and propeller bulkheads.

The Cessna 172 is also the world’s most famous primary trainer aircraft, used by flight schools around the world. The upgraded 180hp engines sold by Air Plains improve the aircraft’s suitability in flight school or training environments. Installation cost of a new 180hp is comparable to the cost of a scheduled overhaul, and the upgrade offers more reliable performance, more efficient operation, and increased payload to make it a true four-place aircraft, all making the total cost of ownership preferable to other options.  For more information about any of Air Plains products or services, call 1-800-752-8481 or +1-620-326-8904, or visit For online shopping, visit the Air Plains web store at  


Air Plains Services, based in Wellington, Kansas, is a leader in general aviation aircraft upgrades, specializing in high performance engine upgrades for most Cessna 172, 180 and 182/182RG piston aircraft, avionics systems and components as well as custom avionics panels, high quality PMA spare parts and enhanced performance systems, and aircraft modification and maintenance. Air Plains stands apart from most other companies, shipping complete, ready-to-install engine upgrade kits anywhere in the world. Air Plains Services, serving the aerospace industry for more than 40 years, is also the home of the Inpulse ADI modification that allows high compression aircraft engines to use 91 octane auto fuel.  For more information, visit the Air Plains website at and follow the company on the Air Plains Facebook and Instagram pages. For information on Air Plains’ Inpulse system for unleaded auto fuel, visit For online shopping, visit the new Air Plains web store at